Harvest On Our Farm

Is coming up soon!

Harvest on every farm can look different from the next. Farmers all grow different things and different seed types, which means those plants cam come at all different times during the harvest month. We plant various seed types that have different growing periods based on when we want the crop to be ready to harvest. For example, we plant an early seed variety because we chop corn silage and we need to get that done before we start harvesting our soybeans. Some farmers don’t chop corn silage, so often they start with soybeans and move on to corn. It isn’t common for us to even get to beans while we are chopping corn silage.
Corn silage is where we take the entire corn plant and chop it into tiny pieces. Check out this video I made a few years ago of our farm chopping corn silage.
After corn silage it’s typically a draw between soybeans and wet corn. Most of the time it’s soybeans, but sometimes it’s wet corn. I don’t have a video of us combining soybeans, but here is a few pictures I have taken through the years so you can get the idea.
Wet corn is something that is unique to a farmer that feeds the corn. Or has a big enough system to dry the corn as they combine. But, drying cost a whole lot of money. So, farmers that don’t feed cattle tend to try and wait for the corn to dry in the field as much as possible before combining. This is a video I made a few years ago of us combining wet corn. We combine the corn in the field with more water in it and then we pack it into a feed bunker and tarp it down to feed through the winter.
Once we get through corn silage, soybeans, and wet corn we finally get on into dry corn. This is kind of like the home stretch. Or at least I like to think of it that way. We are simply in the field moving from field to field combining and taking corn to town or sorting it in grain bins.
Then once harvest is over we dream about taking a vacation. But, the truth is the work doesn’t stop. We then start cleaning up equipment, servicing it for the end of the year, and getting it stored away to wait for another season. Then within weeks of putting one crop into the field we start picking out and buying next year’s seed corn.
Welcome To Harvest On Our Farm!

From Field To The Feed Bunk

In case you are new to dating a farmer one of the things he may be talking about is chopping corn silage. He may have just finished chopping corn silage, or be towards the end of chopping.

I remember my first year on the farm, I thought corn silage season was fascinating...

Here is a post from my blog Stories Of A First Generation Farm Wife breaking it down for you, in case you were wondering what the hype is all about!

Corn silage season has officially ended around here. Time to clean up the chopper and get the trucks ready for combining soybeans. The pile is all tarped up and it feels good to be moving on to the next portion of harvest. 

Now, this post is a repeat from a few years ago, but I used to it last year as well because it explains corn silage and it also contains the first video I ever made using my Flip cam! Woo hoo for me! 

First, to explain a little bit about corn silage I am pulling this blog from over at South Dakota Corn's blog. They did a great job of explaining the purpose for corn silage. And plus, they are a great resource for more information about corn.

Late August and early September, or when the corn fields start turning from green to gold usually marks the start for corn silage season in South Dakota. Chopping corn for silage is a very popular practice, especially among cattle feeders as silage contains high energy nutrients and is easily digestible.
Corn silage is ideally harvested when the corn ears are well-dented and the plant begins to turn brown and dry.  Late cut silage that includes brown and dead leaves will produce a quality feed, but will yield as much as 30% less.
As the corn is chopped, the plant is still alive as it continues to breathe producing carbon dioxide and heat. When the plant cells stop breathing, the plant begins to ferment and will continue for around three weeks while the silage preserves. The less air reaching the corn silage the better, as it’s important to properly cover the pile or fill the silo with temperatures between 80-100 degrees Fahrenheit. Properly packed and heated silage will have a light-green to yellow color with a vinegar type odor.
Now that you know what corn silage is, here is a closer look at what chopping corn silage looks like...